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Reviewed 18 October 2016 via mobile

Standing on top of a little hill overlooking Hagi town this hotel is perfectly located to visit Shoin jinja. Their hot spring is made up with a series of small baths in various design and you can experience a little tour of onsen. Their eat as much as you can lunch is good but weekend only.

Stayed: April 2016, travelled with family
2  Thank alfred c
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 November 2015

Ugly high rise building overlooking Hagi - fortunately, the service inside, the meals and the variety of hot baths (onset) are great. The hotel caters for bus tours, so expect to see large numbers of people. The main hot pool around 530pm had about 50 people in it. The kaiseiki style dinners are particularly good, and there are plenty of courses. You won't go hungry. They have a fab buffet breakfast which caters for Western tastes as well as Japanese. All in all, hard to beat. Very good value for money. Wifi only in the lobby though,so rent your own portable wifi unit.

  • Stayed: November 2015, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
2  Thank Chantman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 May 2015

We wanted to visit the Akiyoshidai caves in Yamaguchi. Amazing - I'll post a review on that in a different post. After visiting the caves, we stayed at Hagi Honjin for only one night, but it was a delightful one. Nestled in the mountains of Hagi, the property looks over picturesque Momijidani valley and is accessible by private car, or taxi. While I did not have the opportunity to take advantage of their Yunomaru (hot bath facility), this is what Hagi Honjin is famous for so I don't want to leave it entirely out of my review. The facility boasts 14 different types of hot springs and all public baths are available indoors, outdoors or in the open air, meaning there is no roof or cover - but all offer appropriate privacy. All baths look out upon a beautiful garden and are fed from a natural underground water source, created over 200 years ago during the glacial period. If public bathing is not your style, they also offer private baths (couples are allowed) with an appointment and an additional fee.

Checking in was quick and pleasant. The front desk operated much like western hotels with a front desk agent and the exchange of information and payment arrangements. We were personally escorted to our room by a lovely woman, who insisted on managing our luggage even though my chivalrous husband offered to carry it. She let us into the room, gave us a quick tour and instructions on what to wear and where to find our yukata (traditional summer kimonos). When she left the room, she turned towards us and bowed deeply, in true Japanese humble tradition.

Upon entry, you remove your shoes. Waiting for you are house slippers. Take off your shoes, slip on a pair of slippers and then step up to the floor. It is customary to not wear your shoes inside a Japanese home. Directly in front of us was the door to the tub and shower room. The wash room is tiny but efficient. Just to the right of the entry to the wash room is a sink, shampoo/conditioner and soap. The tub is deep enough to sit in, with water up to your neck if you aren't terribly tall (say, 5'7 and shorter). Step into the tub to shower, then fill the tub and soak. Delicious! Just to the right of the entry, is the toilet room. This room only hosts the toilet, and know that Japanese western-style toilets are wonderful. They can play a tune, they offer bidet features, the seats are warmed and some even sanitize the seat after you've used it. Some even boast a sink on top of the tank that, upon flushing, delivers water from the spout. There is no soap, however (another Japanese quirk), so bring your own if you plan to use the loo sink to wash up. Otherwise, step into the wash room and wash there - it is literally two steps away. Note that there are special slippers for use in the toilet. So, step out of your house slippers at the door, and into the toilet slippers. They are even colour coded to ease confusion. When you are done, remove the toilet slippers and put your house slippers back on. No tracking toilet germs throughout the rest of the room! Giggle if you will, but I kind of appreciated that detail!

To the left of the entrance is the sliding doorway to the rest of the room. This room serves as your living room and sleeping area and boasts a beautiful tatami mat floor. There was a closet to our left. Sliding the doors open reveals a huge space stacked high with fluffy futon bedding. The other closet held our yukata in various sizes, hapi coats, and towels, toothbrush/paste, washcloth and comb, all sealed in a neat little package. You can also hang your own clothing items in there. In front of us was a low table, large enough for six to sit around if you don't mind sitting hip to hip. There are pillows on the floor, which serve as the seat cushion and chair backs for comfort. To our right is another sitting area, with two low chairs and a coffee table, and a television. Our room was on the 4th floor, and gave us a lovely view of the valley. There are no screens so it is recommended that during bug seasons, you keep the windows closed so that the light in your room won't invite nighttime critters. But in the morning, we opened ours and enjoyed the fresh, mountain air.

The room also offers a hot pot, designed to heat and maintain water at just the right temperature for tea. Tea service is provided in a lovely round lacquer container. There was also a refrigerator stocked with beer, water and other non-alcoholic beverages. Paying for these items is on a trust basis. A form is available on top of the refrigerator to indicate what you removed from the fridge. By the way, the price of beer was very reasonable. Typically, a beer from an in-room fridge will run you over $9. This was around $4 for a bottle, once we converted the value of Yen for the US Dollar.

The room has a telephone and air conditioning. The wash room has a hair dryer.

We were given a time for dinner so we all dressed up in our Yukata and headed down to the second floor meal area. We were seated and served a very nice traditional Japanese meal featuring around 10 courses (I forgot to count) including miso soup, rice, shabu-shabu, salads, pickles and other accompaniments, prepared whole fish, tempura and fugu sashimi - the famously poisonous raw puffer fish. I had never tried it before, and found it to be delicious and delicate in flavor. Texturally, it was firm, almost crisp and not at all slimy, for those of you a little shy about trying raw fish. Overall, the food was delicious and plentiful.

After dinner, we returned to our room and found it transformed into sleeping quarters. The tea table had been pushed aside to make room for the futon (beds). These aren't the kind of futons we buy from Costco, with a frame that can be laid out flat for a sleeping platform, or folded to serve as a couch. Japanese futon is a foundation of heavily padded felt or stuffing. Atop this is another layer of padding. The second foundation is covered with a sheet so you sleep between the padding and the poof-iest comforter you've likely ever seen! Each comforter is also covered in a sheet, sewn to fit the comforter with four corners and the entire underside of the comforter covered, and the top center exposed to present the lovely fabric and pattern of the comforter. You have a choice between regular stuffed pillows or those filled with buckwheat, which gives you a firm, flexible surface to lay your head upon. The buckwheat keeps cool and conforms to your head but it does take some getting used to. I opted for the fluffy pillows.

Breakfast was buffet style and the variety of food options was impressive. Eggs, prepared a few different ways, rice, noodles, salad, fruit, cereal, breads, muffins, Danish, pickles and...spaghetti! So much fun. Many guests were dressed in their yukata, others were dressed in ordinary clothing. All seemed pretty happy with the food. I know we were!

After breakfast, we visited the gift shop, which was huge and offered a wide variety of goodies. Souvenirs, food items, gift items, and pre-wrapped food gift boxes containing cookies, cakes, dumplings, candy, and so on.

Every employee we encountered was courteous and helpful. In fact, we didn't encounter a Japanese local who wasn't! English is limited to a few employees and we did not have any trouble communicating.

I was sad to leave this beautiful place. I wished to stay longer, and really enjoy what Hagi Honjin had to offer! I will most definitely return.

  • Stayed: May 2015, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
5  Thank EchoM
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 April 2015

The greeting from a cadre of smiling individuals was accurate foreshadowing for the days to follow. Every detail that could contribute to our comfort and enjoyment was managed with great care. This is a well appointed Japanese style ryokan/hotel. Spacious rooms, delicious food (breakfast and lunch are buffet style with a wide selection. Dinners are more than ample ). The hotel is on a mountain and enjoys a commanding view. The communal baths are wonderfully appointed and include outside pools. Private baths can be scheduled as well. A spot to indulge oneself and savor.

Room Tip: wifi available only in the lobby.
  • Stayed: April 2015, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank johnfjohnston
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 November 2014

It was a good experience staying at this hotel and had all the amenities you would expect at a quality ryokan. What made it memorable was the personal attention given to us by the manager, Mr. Ito. At dinner he came over to us and spent time explaining our traditional Japanese meal, answering all questions. After dinner he helped us with our upcoming travel plans. We saw him again at breakfast and he made sure we had a shuttle to the train station. The hotel was great, the food was great, but Mr. Ito's attention made the experience memorable.

  • Stayed: November 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank Peter L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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